by INA Botanicals & Tea
As part of Filipino American Heritage Month we're looking back at our ancestral botanical and fruit partners from the Philippines. Some of these traditional natural products are found in Western grocery stores under their Western names, providing the same nourishment and deliciousness to dishes worldwide.
Moringa / Malunggay
This moringa bush thrives in warm climates. The moringa leaves should be added to your list of adaptogens, providing support for everyday stressors. Its rich in vitamins and minerals and has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities.
You can steep this as an herbal infusion or use it in traditional Filipino soup dishes, like Chicken Tinola and Fish Sinigang. Think of these malunggay leaves as parsley. A go-to herb to add freshness to your dishes.
Gotu Kola / Takip Kobol
Another adaptogenic herb, gotu kola is found in the tropical regions of Asia. It's traditionally been used to support brain health by boosting cognitive function. Energetically, it's considered cooling and neutral to balance all types of body constitutions. This versatile herb is not only a relaxing adaptogen, but is a nervine, helping you relax in little time. As an immunostimulant it gets your immune system nuts and bolts in gear maintaining the foundation for feeling well.
Jackfruit / Langka
Did you know that a jackfruit can grow up to 80 pounds in weight? Jackfruit is part of the Moraceae plant family making it a close relative to fig, mulberry and breadfruit. What makes this fruit so cool is that it is high in protein and is an ideal meat alternative to red meat for vegetarian and vegan dieters. Some natural food products have it available as a meal and marinated with spices, such as barbecue sauce.
Jackfruit is rich in vitamins and minerals, providing a great source for overall health and wellness. It's promotes good sugar control and can protect against diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes.
Mangosteen / Manggustin
This highly prized fruit may be confused with lychee, but it's tree takes twice as long to mature and bear fruit - 10 years!
Mangosteen contraints nutrients, including Vitamin C, folate, and xanthones. Multiple test-tube studies reveal that xanthones can inhibit cancer cell growth, including in breast, stomach, and lung tissue (Source: National Library of Medicine). This sweet fruit has been considered to aid in weight loss through its anti-inflammatory effects.